Benefit set for cancer victim

Posted: November 29, 2012

The Winchester Star

Summer Ostinado

WINCHESTER — A fundraiser will be held Friday for a local girl battling cancer.

Summer Ostinato, a 14-year-old Frederick County Middle School student, has been hospitalized with leukemia at the University of Virginia Medical Center since August.

“She’s really loved by everyone,” said her mother, Misty Weaver-Ostinato, 36. “She’s super smart and super sweet. She’s friends with everyone.”

Since her daughter’s hospitalization, Misty, who owns her own salon, has had to stop taking clients and rent a room at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. All the while, she travels back and forth to Charlottesville, taking turns staying by her daughter’s bedside with her husband, Anthony Morelli, and Summer’s father, Patrick Ostinato.

To help with the family’s expenses, East Coast Gymnastics and Cheer, at 1810 Roberts St. in Winchester, is hosting an open gym fundraiser from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Admission is $10 a person.

The gym, which has bars, floor, beam and vault apparatus, will be open for both parent and child members and non-members.

“I hope this inspires other people to help if they can,” said Mandy Van Fossen, owner of the gym. “I couldn’t imagine being in her parents’ shoes.”

Van Fossen, whose daughter is friends with Summer, called the teenager a “very smart and sweet-natured kid.”

Summer is an avid basketball player and runs track. Before being hospitalized, she was the president of the school’s volunteer group that coordinates blood drives.

Her stay in the hospital was unexpectedly extended after she suffered four infections that caused seizures and brain bleeds.

Misty does not know when her daughter will be able to leave.

“[This fundraiser] means we have time to stay with her and support her emotionally and physically,” she said. “We are so blessed the community has supported us.”

Donations can also be made at any Bank of Clarke County branch.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com